Losing the Jul. 31 polls in Zimbabwe may have been a heartrending experience for the country’s former prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, but a veiled succession struggle in his own party may prove the straw that breaks his political career.
Robert Mugabe will be inaugurated on Thursday, Aug. 22, to serve yet another five-year term as Zimbabwe’s president after holding the post for the last 33 years. And he does so as analysts here raise concerns that a recent High Court ruling recommending the arrest of outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s lawyers on contempt of court charges could be the start of political oppression.
Zimbabwean analysts say that it will be historical if President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled this country for 33 years, loses the country’s presidential election to his long-time rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and relinquishes power.
“We definitely can’t miss this grand chance to cast our vote. It’s like Zimbabwe is just gaining independence; the excitement to see a new government coming into power is just incredible and we hope we get a new Zimbabwe rolling again,” 38-year-old Mildred Saungweme from Harare’s Hatfield suburb, told IPS.
At a recent campaign rally in Zimbabwe’s Midlands Province, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai pledged to establish rural-based companies to create employment. It was a promise that appealed to 34-year-old sociologist Agnes Ngwenya who graduated from the University of Zimbabwe 10 years ago, but has not yet found work.
As Zimbabwe’s young politicians increase their demands to be allowed to play a greater role in the running of the country, analysts say that this could signal a change in youth voter apathy in the upcoming elections.